Versatile and delicious, this natural dairy product comes in many guises – whip, spread or pour it to make your favourite dishes sing.
For perfect results, use the right cream for your recipe. Whipping is good for decoration, single for pouring and double for both of these, plus cooking.
As with all dairy products, cream is best enjoyed fresh. It should be stored in the fridge and used within a few days of opening.
Always whip with cold cream; this will help you get more air into it, ensuring it whips rather than churns. Adding sugar at the end will also give you more volume.
This lighter version of double cream is perfect for puddings, from fillings to toppings. Simply whip until light and fluffy, but don’t take it too far or you’ll end up with butter.
Too thin for whipping, single cream is best used for enriching dishes. Try adding a splash to soups and sauces for a creamy finish. It curdles easily, so be careful not to let it boil.
This thick, cultured variety is France’s answer to soured cream. Its pleasant tangy flavour works well both in – and as an accompaniment to – sweet and savoury dishes. Look out for reduced-fat versions.
Rich and thick, double cream performs well when heated as its high fat content prevents it from separating – use it in soups, sauces and baked puddings. It’s also delicious whipped or poured.
A speciality of the West Country, this luscious cream is produced by gently heating double cream until the liquid has evaporated, which gives it its golden colour and buttery crust. It’s brilliant with scones and jam, of course.
Similar to crème fraîche, this tart variety is made from single cream with an added culture. It’s great in a jacket potato, or try it in a fruity cheesecake.
Meet the expert: Megan Clough, Tesco supplier
Tell us a little bit about your job...
I work for Arla – a global dairy company and cooperative owned by dairy farmers. The dairy farms that supply Tesco are all British, and they’re all members of the Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group. This means they adhere to a strict livestock code of practice – higher than the industry standard – and are paid a fair price for their milk. We only use milk from these farms to produce cream for Tesco.
How do you get cream from milk?
When fresh milk is left to settle, a layer of butterfat rises to the top and is skimmed from the surface – this is double cream. The main diference between the cream varieties is their fat percentage. We use a high-speed machine to separate the milk from the butterfat, until the desired balance is reached. Some varieties, such as soured cream and crème fraîche, are produced from single cream but have a culture added, similar to the one used in yogurt.
Is cream good for you?
In moderation, it can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. It’s a great natural product and a little goes a long way. I love it in soups and pasta dishes – and a splash in my cofee.
Make the most of delicious cream and try making these Chocolate and coffee cream pots of richness, enjoyed for special occassions.
As featured in Tesco Magazine March 2015.